Riding a 3 game winning streak, Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United welcomed Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United to Elland Road. Even though the Millers are fresh off a stint in League One, Bielsa wasn’t taken them for granted.
It didn’t take long for Leeds to find their first attempt on net, and pushed their attack from early on. Almost immediately they got a corner, and although nothing came of it, it was an early sign that it was business as usual under Bielsa.
Leeds passed the ball well early on, but time after time they weren’t able to complete their attack. Many times the buildup play was excellent, but then either the cross or probing pass to set someone free would be poor, or the finishing wouldn’t be there.
Leeds ran the game in the first ~20 mins, but Rotherham would start to work their way into the game. The Millers earned a free kick in Leeds territory down the right hand side, but the cross was poor and nothing came from it.
Rotherham wasn’t done though, as a terrible Liam Cooper pass dribbled between Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Gaetano Berardi and found Ryan Williams, but BPF was able to make a great save to save the moment.
Nerves? In defense. Defo wakeup call
Leeds were quickly on the attack again, as a Luke Ayling strike from outside the box curled wide.
Rotherham could have had two goals after 28 minutes, as Jon Taylor let one rip from 30 yards out only to have it denied from the inside of the post.
Rotherham and Leeds then spent a little time trading possessions with nice buildup play and poor finishing, but Leeds finished the half strong. Mateusz Klich, Gaetano Berardi, Kemar Roofe, and Gjanni Alioski had good attempts at goal, but no glory.
It was an entertaining first half to say the least. Leeds played well, they’re passing and buildup play has been very nice, but either the last pass is poor or the shot is poor. There’s definitely been chances for the whites, they’ll be disappointed to not get on the scoreboard.
For Rotherham, they haven’t had nearly the amount of chances Leeds have, but the chances they’ve had have been pretty dangerous. They too would be disappointed not to score on any of those chances, but they could find encouragement and the fact that they kept Leeds out of the score sheet in the first half, something no other the team has done under Bielsa yet this Championship season.
The second half kicked off, and Leeds started out on the right foot yet again. It didn’t take long for the Whites to win a corner. Barry Douglas swung it in for it to be met by Cooper’s head, who had his header parried away by Millers goalkeep Marek Rodák. The deflection found Kemar Roofe, who shot it across the face of the goal when a diving Luke Ayling came and headed the shot at the net. The ball was saved by a Rotherham defender but after some deliberation it was ruled to cross the line for a LEEDS UNITED GOAL 1-0
Via @brucerollinson, Ayling strikes pic.twitter.com/R9Elm3631A— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 18, 2018
Luke Ayling finally opens his Leeds account! Get in!
It’s at this point that LUTV cut out for me, so here’s some tweets about what happened until I found another stream.
CHANCE: Ayling with a high ball into the box, Rotherham header drops to Roofe who shapes to shoot but is denied by a sliding block. 1-0 on 66 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 18, 2018
68' Leeds go close again! A Hernandez and Saiz one-two leads to a great chance for the latter, but Wood heads the effort off the line— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 18, 2018
1-0 | #LEEROT
As I got back, Kalvin Phillips played a beautiful counterattacking through ball for Roofe, who managed to outpace his man before curling his shot into to far corner for a LEEDS UNITED GOAL 2-0
72' GGGGOOOOAAAALLLL!!! KEMAR ROOOOOFE DOUBLES THE LEAD!!!— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 18, 2018
2-0 | #LEEROT pic.twitter.com/wtX58youHG
In the 80th minute, the Millers got a free kick in Leeds territory and got the ball to sub Ryan Manning, who struck it well and it looked like a goal but was denied by BPF.
As Leeds were playing the game out, they gave away a free kick in their territory after a wild Liam Cooper tackle. Yet again it looked dangerous, and yet again Bailey Peacock-Farrell made the save. There were times this game where his passes where questionable, but BPF had a very solid game otherwise.
The final whistle blew, and Leeds United came out on top with the final 2-0.